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I'm taking a break from writing because there is a massive argument going on in the street outside between two of my neighbours. I suspect it's to do with a parking war that's been going on. One of the neighbours has got into the habit of parking his cars outside the house of another neighbour, rather than using his driveway and it seems he's managed to block the neighbour in. The language is all rather fruity and it seems that fisticuffs may be deployed.

It's been a fairly productive week all things considered. I got a number of things wrapped up at work that have been going on for months and am hopeful (she says, with fingers firmly crossed) that I will close out 2 more things next week.

I got my visa waiver sorted for the US and then realised that I'd been so focused on Disneyworld (Eeyore!) that I'd completely forgotten Ookapalooza in a few weeks time. Consequently, I've had a bit of a flailing session while I organise my European Health Insurance Card so that if I do fall ill I can get treatment in local services and now I'm flailing over whether to also get travel insurance, because if I got an annual policy now then it would also cover me for the US.

Hmm ... decisions decisions.

I also discovered that the cheap printer I bought for Ookapalooza last year disappeared during my house move (at least, we can't find it in the garage with all my other worldly belongings). This leaves me a dilemma. My writing process involves printing out each session of writing, editing it in pencil and then typing up the amendments before moving on to the next writing session. It's long and painful, but it does work for me.

Of course, for it to work for me, I need a printer and my existing printer (lovely though it is) is not portable by any stretch of the imagination. So I'm looking at buying a portable printer specially for the trip. I've found two possibilities:

- a Canon PIXMA iP100, which weights about 2 kg, is 32cm wide and 18.5 cm high and the cheapest price I can find is £250 (which is a lot of money for a printer - even a portable one) but it's from Argos, a site I know delivers when it says it will; or

- a Canon SELPHY CP760, which weighs 0.9kg, is 18 cm wide and 7.3cm high and available from a third party seller on Amazon for £80 (which is a bit more reasonable).

The SELPHY, from the dimensions given, would be better for me as an option because it's going to have to go in my suitcase (I'm flying) and wouldn't add too much for the weight. But I'm nervous about using a third party supplier on Amazon (although this company does have good feedback) and whether it would be delivered on time.

So what do the good people on LJ think I should do?

What would you do about a printer in my situation?

Get the Canon SELPHY CP760
3(42.9%)
Get the Canon PIXMA iP100
2(28.6%)
Get something else (which I will explain in the comments)
2(28.6%)
Don't bother with a printer, just try writing in a different way
0(0.0%)


On the Tube ride home last week, I overheard one boy telling another about how he'd seen a man fall off some scaffolding at a building site and then been "reincarnated". After a couple of minutes, I realised that he'd meant that he'd seen the man being resuscitated, but I actually like the boy's word more and it's set me off to thinking about how cool it would be if we could see people being instantly reincarnated.

Man 1: "Oh my God! Bob's fallen off the scaffolding. Somebody do something!"

Man 2: "Wait. Where's his body gone? Why have they left his clothes? And who put that newt there?"

In a bid to try and do this more regularly, I thought I'd do another list of books that I've read recently and particularly recommend. I'm horribly behind on reviews at the moment, but there should eventually be more detailed comments up at quippe:

Middle Grade Fiction (Aged 9 - 12)

- Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy - third in a series about a skeleton detective and his teenage girl sidekick, I absolutely love these books because Landy gets the darkness, the action and the humour just right. This book sees Skulduggery and Valkyrie thrown out of the Registry and forced to investigate on their own when teleporters start getting murdered. It's a brilliant read with a cliffhanger ending that's got me hankering for the next book (SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT: DARK DAYS) to come out in paperback.


Young Adult Fiction (Aged 12+)

- Runemarks by Joanne Harris - Joanne Harris's first trip into YA fiction is a flawless fantasy that draws on Norse mythology and which is set in a world where Ragnorak has happened and the Norse gods been destroyed. Maddy is a girl living in a village who's been marked with a runemark, giving her magical powers, which a one-eyed traveller is helping her to control. Soon she's pitched into an adventure involving goblins, gods, giants and ancient prophecy where the whole fate of the world is at stake.

- Alien Storm by A. G. Taylor - second in a series about children and teens who gain paranormal powers after a meterorite storm hits Australia. It's a fast moving action adventure that moves between Australia and Russia and where even the goodies have a moral greyness to them.


Fiction For Grown-Ups

- Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell - best known for his Wallander detective series, this is a stand-alone novel about an elderly Swedish doctor who's been in self-imposed exile near the Arctic Circle since making a medical mistake 20 years earlier. One day an old lover who he'd cruelly ditched turns up at his door, asking him to fulfill a promise that he made to her. What follows is a beautiful rumination on growing old and past regrets. It's thought-provoking, intelligent and gorgeously written.

- A Matter Of Blood by Sarah Pinborough - first in a new urban fantasy/horror trilogy set in an alternate future where economic collapse saw the creation of The Bank, which now owns all of the world's assets. The story follows a detective inspector chasing a serial killer whose victims are covered in flies, when the case is interrupted by the discovery that his estranged brother has killed his wife and son before commiting suicide. The investigation leads the main character to question his own family history even as his cases all seem to come together. It's billed as Pinborough's break-out novel and I think it deserves to be - definitely read it if you like Mike Carey's Felix Castor books as the feel is very similar.

- Mediated by Thomas De Zengotita - one of my rare forays into non-fiction, this is a social anthology book that looks at how the media shapes our perception of ourselves and the role of 'performance' in day-to-day social life. It's an interesting read that's not too jargon filled and will make you think about the world around you and your place in it.

- Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist - the book that sparked the successful Swedish movie, this follows Oskar, a lonely bullied boy living on a Swedish social housing estate in the 1980s and how his friendship with a strange girl called Eli who's just moved in, helps him to grow. It's a scary read and even people familiar with the film will find new things - particularly the chilling background of Eli's guardian.

- Eleven by Mark Watson - novel about an Australian radio talk show DJ and a series of events that sees him effect 10 other people. It's well written, moving story about how even the most cursory of contacts can ripple out and effect others.

Ah. The local boys in blue have arrived to sort out the neighbour situation. Back to the writing chair.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
jayabear
Aug. 16th, 2010 11:25 am (UTC)
... Do you have to order online? Can't you just go an pick one up in a shop? Here, even the Post Office sells printers. But if you must go with one, the Selphy sounds better :D Pixma's are kind of evil.
hecallaghan
Aug. 17th, 2010 09:55 am (UTC)
Have you thought about buying a Sony E-reader? Melanie annotated my novel for the workshop using it - basically you get provided with a little stylus which you can scribble on the screen with, and this can then be printed out a later date.

The only downer is that she found that the relationship between the scribbles and the text got less accurate as she moved through the document, but my book was huge and if you're just doing it on a chapter by chapter basis, it wouldn't be a problem. I think she paid something like £250 for it, but she wanted a red one. The monotone ones are apparently cheaper.
ashfae
Aug. 17th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
I really must find an excuse to use the phrase "Deploy the fisticuffs!" at some point.

I have Runemarks and haven't read it yet; must fix it!

Also you're reading one of my favorite Sayers books. Rah. (possibly my favorite that doesn't involve Harriet)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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Caroline Hooton

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